1854-D $2.50 NGC AU53

Only 1,760 examples were struck and this is the fourth rarest quarter eagle from this mint, trailing the 1856-D, 1855-D and 1840-D in that order. When available, the typical 1854-D is very poorly produced and it grades in the EF40 to AU50 range. This Choice AU example is original and very wholesome with undipped green-gold surfaces that still retain a good deal of dirt in the protected areas. There is enough luster and detail to suggest an AU55 grade and I think that this coin's conservative rating by NGC is more reflective on its originality than anything else. As always, the neck feathers on the eagle are weakly impressed but this is an impressive 1854-D with legitimately good eye appeal. The last AU53 to sell at auction was a PCGS coin (ex Heritage 5/07: 2234) that brought $13,225 back in May, 2007. Since 1998, only six 1854-D quarter eagles have crossed the auction block.